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View Diary: Abbreviated pundit round-up: ATF needs beefing up and a boss to get a handle on guns (43 comments)

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  •  Add Tiahrt amendment - (12+ / 0-)

         The NYT editorial didn't mention this, from NPR's Fresh Air:

    GROSS: So this amendment prevents the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms from releasing information about what guns have been used in crimes. Do I have that right?

    DIAZ: You have that exactly right. It's interesting, you know, I used to work on the Hill for Congress Schumer back during the early '90s, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms routinely released aggregate data. We're not talking about specific investigative files here. We're talking about useful data about what types of gun are used in what types of crime.

    The gun industry realized that it really loses every argument where you can have facts. So they got Congressman Todd Tiahrt from Kansas to sponsor what are called riders. You put them on appropriations bills. And it basically says, ATF, you cannot spend any money to release any of this data.

    So immediately we're shut down. ATF collects by make, model, caliber - data about the guns and the type of crimes they're used in. So we could, for example, were ATF able to release this data, we could say we want to look at Bushmaster. How many of these Bushmasters have been used in how many crimes and where in the United States over the last, what, 10 years? Take your pick.

    That data is available in the files of ATF, but it cannot release it. It is forbidden by law from releasing it.

    GROSS: So the Tiahrt Amendment, which is basically a rider to the appropriations bill that was introduced by Congressman Todd Tiahrt, what year was that first passed?

    DIAZ: It was first passed in 2003, and it's been amended since and continuously included in appropriations bills.


    The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

    by Azazello on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 05:01:17 AM PST

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